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2008 Nov 04

SpokesDog Boomer for Beads, Jewelry Tools and Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig Web SiteWigJig Jewelry Tools Presents our Jewelry Making Newsletter -- AKA Boomer Sez:

Our Spokesdog:  If an insurance company can have a gecko, we have decided that we can have a spokesdog.  Boomer, shown at right, is our spokesdog.  If you select Boomer's picture at right, you will be able to view Boomer at work. 


How to Unsubscribe:  If you signed up for our newsletter and then decided you don't want to receive it any more, the proper way to unsubscribe is to select the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every newsletter e-mail or to follow our sign up link above.  On that sign up page we also provide a way for people to unsubscribe. 


Blue Topaz GemstonesBirthstone for November:   The birthstone for November is the Topaz.  The natural color for Topaz is clear, but many varieties of Topaz can be found in nature with a yellow or light brown color.  The blue topaz stones shown at right were mined from the earth, but the blue color is not a natural color.  The blue color for topaz results from irradiation of a natural yellow topaz.  (Please note that there is no residual radiation left in the gemstones after they have been irradiated.)  Topaz has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale making it harder than most naturally occurring dust.  This means that topaz is suitable for use in all types of jewelry including rings.  Please select the picture above-right if you would like to view our selection of natural, mined blue topaz or blue topaz colored man-made cubic zirconia gemstones.  Please select here for more information on topaz

Price Increase on Silver-Plated Artistic Wire:  

Artistic Wire has announced a price increase effective the 1st of November.  Their silver-plated wire will increase in price from $4.55 (US) per spool to $4.90 (US) per spool.   Unfortunately, we will have to reprice our Artistic Wire to these new prices effective on November 7th.   This will allow three days of shopping at the old price.  Their non-tarnish brass, copper and vinyl coated copper will remain at the current price.

Caution to International Travelers:  Imagine that you are in a foreign country with a broken bone and they take your money, they take your clothes, they take your identification and they leave you completely immobile and out of touch with anyone who speaks your language for days.  No books to read, no television to watch, no radio and no one to talk to.  Food was available, but it wasn't palatable.  This starts to sound like what happened to John McCain as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.  Unfortunately, this time, it is what happened to a cruise ship passenger on a Holland American cruise ship.  Mary Alice Mackey, Boomer's Mother in Law, broke her leg near the hip in the middle of the Pacific Ocean during a cruise.  The cruise ship placed her in the ship's infirmary for two days until they got into port in Hakodate, Japan.  Once in port, the cruise ship made arrangements to transfer Ms Mackey to a hospital in that town.  In the process of moving Ms Mackey off the cruise ship, the Port Agent for the cruise ship was given Ms Mackey's possessions including all of her money, her passport, her purse and her clothes and luggage.  The well intentioned agent made arrangements to have Ms Mackey admitted to the hospital and placed Ms Mackey's possessions in secure storage.  Unfortunately the Port Agent neglected to provide Ms Mackey with any of her funds, or her passport, nor did he inform Ms Mackey that he was retaining her possessions in secure storage.  Unfortunately, Ms Mackey was left with no possessions in a hospital where no one spoke her language, not a doctor, not a nurse, no one.  One day later the cruise ship sailed from Hakodate leaving Ms Mackey with a broken leg, no passport, no clothes or money, and no one to talk to.  Legally, the cruise ship had completed their requirement to get the injured passenger to a medical facility.  Unfortunately, because of language difficulties it was not a hospital that could adequately treat Ms Mackey.  A little over one week after landing in Hakodate, Japan, Ms Mackey died of a blood clot resulting either from the broken bone, or from a surgery to repair the broken bone performed seven days after she arrived in the hospital. 

Please note that we are not asking for your sympathy.  This is a very sad situation, but sympathy is not our purpose in describing this situation.  Our goal is to share a lesson learned the hard way in the hopes that it may spare someone from a similar fate.  Ms Mackey left on this trip with travel insurance, but the policy did not cover an air ambulance to return her to her home in the US.  During this ordeal, we priced an air ambulance and learned that Ms Mackey would have to pay between $60,000 and $100,000 to get home to a US hospital.  It seems in retrospect that had Ms Mackey been immediately flown to a medical facility where she could speak the same language as the doctors and nurses, she might be alive today.  This isn't certain, but what is absolutely certain is that Ms Mackey would have suffered much less and would have received better medical care in a facility where she could communicate with the medical staff.  That much is absolutely certain.  We don't believe that the doctors and nurses in Hakodate were second rate, but we do believe that Ms Mackey received second rate medical care because of the language and cultural barriers.   Here is the point in this long story -- don't let this happen to you.  Here is our recommendation to everyone who is considering international travel -- get trip insurance for that specific trip and ensure that the travel insurance specifically covers an air ambulance if necessary.  It could save your life.  If you search on Google using the term "travel insurance" you will find many firms selling this type of insurance.  Anyone can break a bone.  It may happen in one of many types of accidents.   Please remember, having the right kind of travel insurance could be the difference between life and death.

Jewelry Making Supplies On Sale:

We update the jewelry supplies that we have "On Sale" with every newsletter.  A small sample of the products we have for sale at discounted prices are shown below.  Please click on any of the links below the pictures to view our entire list of sale items.  Select the picture itself to view that specific item in our Internet Store.  This sale will be effective through November 15th 2008 or until we run out of that item. 

8mm 1/2 Drilled Freshwater Pearl Beads8mm Ear Post Finding for Setting 1/2 Drilled Freshwater Pearl Beads

8mm 1/2 Drilled Freshwater 
Pearl Beads 
Sale Priced $11.19 per Pearl
8mm Ear Post Finding for Setting 1/2 
Drilled Pearl Beads

Sale Price $1.67 per Pair

 Metal Dowels -- A Set of Three Jewelry Making Tools

Set of 3 Metal Dowels
Sale Priced $5.83 per Set

6mm Round Tanzanite Swarovski Beads
6mm Round Jet Swarovski Beads
6mm Bicone Sapphire Light Swarovski Beads

6mm Swarovski Round and Bicone Beads
Many colors now on sale!

Post with Ball Jewelry Making Finding

14/20 GF Post with Ball Ear Wire Finding
Sale Priced $3.83 per 2 pair

6mm 14/20 Gold-Filled Snap-Fit Setting

6mm 14/20 GF Snap-Fit Setting
Sale Priced $4.95 per setting

18 Gauge Natural Silver Artistic Wire Brand Jewelry Wire

20G Natural Silver Artistic Wire
$3.64 for a 18' Spool
(This wire has an anti-tarnish, enamel coating.)

Mod Classic Jewelry Wire & Beads Earrings -- A Jewelry Making ProjectFree Jewelry Making Design:

With every newsletter we provide a new jewelry design from WigJig University to spur the creative juices.  The new design for this newsletter is the design for our Modified WigJig Classic Jewelry Wire & Beads Earrings shown at right.  This design is a modification to a wire component that we used in our Deluxe Triplex Bracelet in our book "Wonderful, Wearable Wire" this component is called a "WigJig Classic", hence we call the earrings Modified WigJig Classic. 

This is an advanced beginner's jewelry making project.  It is not suitable for your first jewelry project, but is relatively easy to make if you understand how to use our WigJig tools and the basic skills of making a loop, straightening wire, making a bead dangle and making a jump ring finding.  Because we flip this wire component over after making each loop, they are a little more complicated to make than would be suitable for a true beginner. 

There are many alternatives for connecting the top of the earring body to the ear wire.  In the earrings shown here, we used two spacer bars that we made on our jig.  You could also use wire, or a two-to-one wire component also made on our WigJig tool. 

We hope you like this design.  We do.  To view our free instructions for how to make our Modified WigJig Classic Jewelry Wire & Beads Earrings made on our WigJig jewelry tools please select here, or select the picture above.

Past Jewelry Making Techniques:

We maintain a techniques web page that provides links to the discussion of techniques in our prior newsletters.  You can visit this web page here.  Follow the links on that page to the discussion of the technique in that newsletter. 

How to Make a Wire Component with Overlapping LoopsJewelry Making Technique:

How to Make a Wire Component with Overlapping Loops Picture 1This week's jewelry making technique is our new instructions for how to make a wire component with two loops at the top that overlap.  Please see the two pictures at right.  In the picture near-right you can view the wire component from our Suzanne's Earrings in our last newsletter.  In this picture you can see that the two loops at the top are overlapping one another with no pressure applied, just as we want them to be.  In the picture at far right, you can view the two loops at the top, but they have sprung apart and are not overlapping.  This is not the situation that we want, but it is frequently the situation we experience when first we remove a jewelry wire component from one of our jigs.   The question now is how do you get from the picture above-right, to the perfect alignment in the picture above-left.  The answer is relatively easy and is a process called "hand finishing".  Hand finishing is merely using your fingers to shape a wire component before you use that component in a piece of jewelry.  Even the best jewelry crafters will do some hand finishing of their wire components.

The way to hand finish the wire component shown above-left is to bend the wire at the loop at the center of the bottom of the component.  Grasp the left side of the wire component with the thumb and forefinger on your left hand and the right side of the wire component with the thumb and forefinger on your right hand and push the right side to the left and the left side to the right.  The area of wire you are bending is the loop in the center at the bottom.  Push the two sides together just past the point where the two loops at the top are superimposed and then relax your grip.  If you pushed the wire far enough, the two sides will be superimposed as shown above-left.  You may need to push the two sides together several times until they get perfectly aligned.  Remember to use your nylon jaw pliers to flatten the wire component and make the shape permanent. 

Now that we have discussed how to correct this problem, let's discuss how to avoid it or to minimize it.  The fact that the two loops in the wire component sprung apart happened because of a small error when making the wire component.  Our technique for making a wire component on one of our jigs is to push the wire so that the wire will remain immediately adjacent to the next peg in the pattern with no pressure applied.  In most patterns, we make the wire component starting with just two pegs and adding a peg as we go.  When you do this you will see that it is very easy to ensure that the wire will remain adjacent to the empty hole for the next peg in the pattern with no pressure applied.  You may need to push the wire and then remove your grip a couple of times until the wire remains in the correct position, but with a little practice you will find that this is easy to do.  When you don't push the wire far enough, and the pegs actually hold the wire in position, you will find that your wire component will spring out of shape when you remove it from your jig.  Consider it nature's way of telling you that you did it wrong.  The end result is that the loops at the top of your wire component won't overlap if you aren't performing this technique correctly and will be pretty close to overlapping when you do perform this technique well. 

Nostalgia Corner -- Some of our favorite jewelry making designs:

Making a Deluxe Triplex BraceletMaking a Deluxe Triplex Bracelet Jewelry Making ProjectThis week's featured design in our Nostalgia Corner is the design for making our Deluxe Triplex Bracelet shown left and right.  This design is related to the Modified WigJig Classic Earrings that are our new jewelry project for this newsletter.  The body of the earrings is a modification of the wire component used in these bracelets.  For that reason, this bracelet may be an excellent complement to the earrings or conversely, the earrings may be a nice compliment to the bracelet.  Please note that the bracelet is an intermediate jewelry making project.  Finally, many people, including Boomer's Mom, Suzanne, consider that this bracelet is the nicest bracelet that we have made.  For that reason alone, it is a good choice for our Nostalgia Corner. 

We have created a .pdf file of the pattern for the triplex wire component that you can print and use to determine where the pegs go.  Please select here to view this .pdf file.

Please select here, or select any picture above to view our free instructions for making our Deluxe Triplex Bracelet made by shaping jewelry wire on our WigJig jewelry tools.

All content on this web site including jewelry and wire designs are copyrighted© by WigJigWigJig® is a registered trademark.  Last modified: 11/04/2008



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